Your tenancy agreement may limit the uses to which you can put the property. Check this for any restrictions that may be included – typically you will be prevented from running a business. Other restrictions may include:
- Pets – both the landlord’s head lease and the landlords’ insurance policy may prevent pets being kept at the property. If you are permitted a pet then expect to lodge a higher deposit with the agent and to pay for steam cleaning of carpets and flea de-infestation at the end of the tenancy. Animal fleas can lie dormant for weeks, so the agent may hold some of your deposit until after the new tenants have moved in.
- Smokers – smoke damages the decorative surfaces of the property and leaves an odour which puts off non-smokers so landlords would prefer you to not smoke. If it’s evident you have smoked then you may become liable for re-decoration costs.
- Young children – crayon marks on walls, sticky handprints and extra wear and tear can mean landlords would prefer a childless professional couple. However, if it’s a larger house with garden then the natural tenants are a family and it’s always worth asking if the landlord will consider your family, perhaps if you lodged a higher deposit.
- Sharers – higher levels of wear and tear and a requirement in some circumstances for the property to be licensed as a “House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)” with attendant costs for the landlord. Shared properties command a higher rent to compensate the landlord.
Benefit recipients – the landlords’ insurers and mortgage lender may impose this restriction.